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Why China doesn't act against Masood Azahar

Hyderabad: China again, quite predictably, acts against India's bid to get JeM head Masood Azahar designated a global terrorist by the UN. This is the fourth time that China has blocked India's efforts.

JeM chief Masood Azhar

The question that pops up is why, when the International community, by and large, supports India's singularly important exercise to act against the mastermind of terror activities, China puts a spanner in the works in favour of Pakistan?
Here are the possible answers. The most obvious reason of course is the fact that China is Pakistan's all-weather friend. Having a bitter enemy of India in its friends list gives China strategic leeway vis-a-vis India.
The second reason, also strategic, is that the more India focuses on Pakistan, the less it does so on China freeing it thereby from immediate worries from India and helping it to concentrate on bigger rivals like the US or to invest its energy and resources in other countries where China wants to expand its influence.
Also Read: India, US agree to build six nuclear power plants in India
The third reason is China's huge economic interests in Pakistan in the past few years. Pakistan is a significant stakeholder in China's enormously ambitious project the One Belt One Road (OBOR). China does not want to upset the apple cart by going against Masood Azahar and thereby betraying Pakistan.
The fourth reason may be Pakistan's role in shielding China or supporting it in the forums where China is not a member or is not invited. Pakistan takes care of China's interests in such places and is reciprocated by China in equal or even greater measures when it needs it friend to fight India.
Also Read: China blocks bid at UN to list Azhar as global terrorist
Masood Azahar has become a huge issue in Indo-Pak relations specially after the Pathankot attack and the recent Pulwama incident. No matter how much pressure Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj wants to put on Pakistan by asking it to hand over Azahar to India and only then start the peace talks, it will be virtually an impossible task for Pakistan to do so.
But Pakistan might go for some eyewash in Azahar's case now that international pressure is mounting on it, but it will stop short of doing anything serious which might really hurt him. It comes as a great relief for Pakistan in general and Masood Azahar in particular that the mighty friend China once again demonstrates its might by blocking India's bid at the UN.



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